Saturday, January 07, 2006

Women Owned Businesses

I was just reading the latest issue of Seattle Woman magazine which bills itself as being "intelligent, insightful, and involved." Why was I reading it? That's a post for a different day.

An article by Marianne Scholl entitled "What Certification Can Do For You" poses the importance for women to certify their business as "Woman owned and operated." Without going over the whole article the gist is that it is important to certify your business as a woman owned business so that your company can officially be seen for what it is. Below is a quote from the article that explains the need:

But what if Microsoft or the Washington State Department of Transportation is a potential customer? Like many government agencies and most large corporations, they have supplier diversity programs to ensure that women-, minority-, or disabled veteran-owned business enterprises are considered in their purchasing decisions. Because they want to be absolutely certain that the business they assist through these programs are what they say they are,...

This article really pissed me off. In another part of the article Scholl describes women and minority owned businesses as "disadvantaged." What this certification is attempting to do, along with many idiot lawmakers, is repeal the laws of economics.

First, a disadvantaged business is one that is not owned and operated by women but instead is one that is owned and operated by people who suck at running a business. If you provide a good product at a competitive price and are willing to back it up with service and support you will be successful. My friend of 15 years owns a painting company. He is honest, backs up his work, very competitively priced and treats his workers with respect. He is not allowed to bid a job for a state agency because he is non-union. Apparently his business is only good enough to collect tax revenue from so that they have money for someone else to put paint on their walls. Is his business a disadvantaged one?

Secondly, when you do business with a company, you're not 'assisting' them as the article claims. You're doing business with them. The state has an obligation to smartly spend the money they take from me, and not give it to a business to do a job because they fit some arbitrary criteria. The only criteria should be: Best quality for the best value...period.

Lastly, people tend to own businesses where they know the industry well or know people who are interested. For example I've not known many men who start craft stores, and the same can be said that most women don't dream of opening a corner hardware store. Each business will succeed and fail based upon the same factors...and gender isn't one of them.

Next post: Why was I reading Seattle Woman magzine.


PlatinumGirl said...

Amen! But, government being dirty as it is, without those programs the contracts would probably just go to business owners who are family & friends to the decision-makers. Sad but true.

Now, if we could fix the whole budget process so the amount of money that goes to each department doesn't depend entirely on their ability to spend it, regardless of how it's spent, we might get somewhere!

Tim said...

It never occurred to me whether or not a business I use is owned by a woman or a man. I have several friends who own businesses and not a single one has brought up the gender of the owner as a reason to or not to do business with them.

You're right on one thing for sure...people who suck at running businesses are at a disadvantage...and rightfully so.

J. said...

Now, see, I would have just thought the registration was a way to network.

Tracy said...

Now networking would be a great idea...and a great way to meet business chicks!

sigsoog said...

Women-owned firms are becoming more and more prevalent now and they are even diversifying into all industries.

Women owned businesses